Ahhh January. After the indulgence of Christmas, January is when we try to get back into our routine, with healthy eating and exercise back on the cards. Not something anyone looks forward to, but a necessity for most. Luckily for me, most of my friends are on a health kick too, so we try and do healthy things together. My boyfriend is also happy to help me stick to my healthy plan. It certainly makes life easier when all of you are on the same page – I definitely couldn’t go to a restaurant with people I knew were going to order amazing cheesy carb based treats and brownies for dessert – I don’t have enough willpower!
Luckily there is loads of healthy things to do in London. Here are a few ideas for you – and most of them are cheap as well! Enjoy x
PS For anyone interested in my January healthy eating ‘rules’, I have included those below J
- Eating out! – Yes, you can do this and be healthy. You can just go to a restaurant and pick the salad, grilled fish etc, but when I’m hungry and there are burgers or pizza around I can’t be trusted. So healthy restaurants are the way forward. We tried the Wild Food Café in Covent Garden last week and it was great! This Time Out article also has some great suggestions. Just because you’re being good doesn’t mean you can’t eat out. http://www.timeout.com/london/restaurants/the-best-healthy-restaurants-in-london
Wild Food Cafe – hummus and crackers, vegetarian burger and laska. Nom.
- Walks – London is full of amazing places to walk. Dress up warm, grab some friends and go for a stroll around some of London’s awesome parks. We wondered round Hampstead Heath last weekend, and Richmond Park this weekend. Lots of healthy fresh air and exercise, and free! Also a great way to catch up with friends without going out for dinner. http://www.timeout.com/london/things-to-do/londons-major-parks
- Exercise – I know – but bear with me on this one! Exercise classes are super social and a great way to get some endorphins. Lots of gyms have offers on, check out Class Pass and studios like One Rebel and spin classes like Cyclebeat and Psycle for introductory offers. I do my weekly hot yoga class with a friend, and did a Cyclebeat intro offer with a couple of other friends. I am planning on dragging Rob to a cycle class next Friday – watch this space! (I know – on a Friday… but this means I don’t go out for dinner!!)
- Cinema – loads of great films out in January, need I say more? We saw Silence last weekend and it was great, and we’re off to La La Land next weekend. Avoid the popcorn and bring your own healthy snacks. I brought some nuts and some carrot sticks – but the carrot sticks were far too loud and crunchy, so I don’t recommend them from quieter films!! But nuts are great.
- Theatre – As above, a great bit of culture and no pressure to indulge! Check out TKTS in Leicester Square for good last minute ticket prices.
- The Comedy Store – Stolen this one off a friend who is doing Dry January and looking for alcohol free dates. Great plan and something we will definitely be doing at some point this month.
- At home movie night – We love a movie night, but usually this accompanied by wine, dinner and snacks. This weekend we put a healthy spin on it. Instead of wine, soda water and fresh lime, instead of crisps, crudités and Greek yogurt dip and an amazing monkfish curry courtesy of Madeline Shaw – with cauliflower rice of course.
- Museums – loads of free museums to wander around in London – burn calories while walking around and avoid the café J The Science Museum is next on our list.
- Pub Quiz – Slightly more difficult to avoid the booze in a pub, but the quiz should help you take your mind of things…and you never know you might learn something! Or win a prize of course. You’ll have to let me know what that’s like!
So there you have it! I’m sure there are plenty more we haven’t thought of yet, but it is possible to date and see friends without breaking your January detox. Though of course, the occasional treat meal isn’t going to hurt anyone!
For anyone interested, this is my health plan I’m aiming for at the moment, with the idea I will do this for a month or so in order to kick start 2017.
- No sugar.
I have a massive sweet tooth – I always like something sweet at the end of a meal. Though most of the time I tend to eat healthy sugars (Christmas aside), sugar is sugar. After reading the I Quit Sugar cookbook, I decided to try and completely give up sugar for a few weeks to try and reset my taste buds. The only sugar I intend to eat is fruit. Gone is honey on the porridge, dried fruits on Greek yogurt and a square or two of dark chocolate in the evening. That said – there will inevitably be cheat days along the way! This is an experiment I am trying and I don’t tend to be ridiculously strict. I have done this for a week so far, and though I miss sweet treats, actually I have found I have lots more energy which is encouraging!
- Carbs only after a workout
Again, we don’t eat loads of carbs, especially during the week. I work out every morning before work, so my breakfasts are oat based – porridge, overnight oats, protein shakes etc. During week nights, we are replacing pasta with courgetti, rice with cauliflower etc. This actually isn’t too hard, especially because Rob is also doing this with me. It’s all about making sure you fill up on plenty of veggies!
- Healthy weekends
Though I was healthy during the week, weekends were my downfall. From about Friday lunchtime to Sunday evening I would be much more relaxed with my eating habits. Though I will never give up eating out, I wanted to spend a few weeks trying to be good at the weekend, though the occasional treat will happen, this will be one meal, instead of 6!
- Less booze!
Dry January – no thanks. Generally, I believe in everything in moderation, alcohol included. So as with treat days, I will have the occasional glass of wine in January. For me – it’s all about doing something sustainable, and not drinking permanently is never going to happen! But soda water and fresh lime is a good alternative.
Luckily I love working out. Though the early alarm is not my friend, doing 30 minutes of exercise before work really wakes me up and I love having my evenings free. The Body Coach (aka Joe Wicks) is helpfully running HIIT sessions at 6:30am every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through January on Facebook live – check out his facebook page. This is excellent – such a great workout in only 25 minutes. I also do a couple of weights classes at the gym, a hot yoga class every week and intervals and abs on a Saturday. It sounds like a lot, but it’s little and often, and I need to work out as I love food so much!
Fingers crossed I can stick to this until the end of January, then we’ll see!